Lose the bristly beard. Keep the transcendental tunes. Though his days of Hasidic facial hair are over, Jewish musician Matisyahu continues to garner fame and sway listeners with his contagious and unmatched musical style. In fact, Esquire Magazine recently dubbed him the “most intriguing reggae artist.”
However, to declare Matisyahu as solely representing the genre of reggae is inapt and ill-suited. Across all his albums, no style truly dominates. Indeed, Matisyahu has an innate knack at blending layers of rock, hip-hop, electronica and pop — and adding a dose of incredible beat boxing to the mix.
In the same respect, to say that Matisyahu solely focuses on the principles of Judaism in his music is nonsensical. While his songs are influenced and inspired by his time studying rabbinical values and virtues, the ideas expressed in his lyrics are meant to resonate with people from all backgrounds — religious or not. This is where the true beauty of his music lies.
His latest album, “Spark Seeker,” may seem slightly more fast-paced than his usual, nonchalant flow. Nonetheless, Matisyahu stays true to himself. As he wrote prior to shaving, he advised that fans “get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry … You haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.” We better hope not to see the last of his music any time soon, either. If you’re intrigued, Campus Activities Board is bringing him to campus at the beginning of November.
Kerem is a member of the class of 2015.